AXS TV has issued the following press release:
“AXS TV PREMIERES NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING’S BIGGEST SHOW OF THE YEAR—WRESTLE KINGDOM 12—ON SATURDAY, JAN. 6, 2018 AT 8pE IN A THREE-HOUR SPECIAL EVENT
Championship Battles Between Kenny Omega & Chris Jericho, Kazuchika Okada & Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jay White Air Saturday Night
Additional Coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 12 Will Premiere as Part of AXS TV’s Weekly Series Friday Nights at 8pE Beginning Jan. 12
Los Angeles, CA (Dec. 3, 2017) – As the exclusive U.S. television home for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), AXS TV will premiere the promotion’s biggest show of the year, Wrestle Kingdom 12, in a three-hour special Saturday, Jan. 6 at 8pE/5pP. AXS TV FIGHTS CEO Andrew Simon made the announcement that the Wrestle Kingdom 12 national television broadcast marks the fastest turnaround time for the spectacular airing just two days after the event takes place at the Tokyo Dome. AXS TV’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 special will showcase the event’s three headlining championship matches: IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho, IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. G1 CLIMAX 27 Tournament Champion Tetsuya Naito, and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White.
“While NJPW has delivered some of the greatest matches in wrestling history over the past year, we’ve seen viewership growth on AXS TV thanks to New Japan’s expansion in the U.S. and our commitment to air matches closer to when they take place,” said Simon. “With Wrestle Kingdom as their marquee annual event, we thank NJPW and TV Asahi for their support and are proud to kick off 2018 with this historic primetime Saturday night special featuring the dream match-up of Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho.”
AXS TV will continue its coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 12 following the special over five episodes Friday nights starting Jan. 12 at 8pE/5pP on the network’s award-winning weekly series, including the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship match between RPG 3K (Sho & Yoh) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), the four-way IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship bout featuring Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay vs. KUSHIDA vs. Hiromu Takahashi, and the ROH World Title Match between Cody and Kota Ibushi. The championship matches featuring Tanahashi vs. White, Omega vs. Jericho and Okada vs. Naito will also have an encore airing during this time.
Leading up to the Wrestle Kingdom 12 special on Jan. 6, AXS TV will air an eight-hour marathon of NJPW starting at 12pE/9aP. Episodes in the marathon will feature matches that set up the main card at Wrestle Kingdom, including Omega winning the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Title versus Tomohiro Ishii at the G1 Special in USA; Omega vs. Naito in the G1 CLIMAX 27 Tournament Finals; Omega’s first U.S. Heavyweight Title defense at Destruction in Kobe; an encore of the three-hour King of Pro-Wrestling special headlined by Okada vs. EVIL; and two episodes from Power Struggle headlined by Omega vs. Beretta featuring a special appearance by Jericho.
AXS TV produces the English language version of “New Japan Pro Wrestling” in association with TV ASAHI CORPORATION, the distributor of NJPW.”